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The Red Curse, Volume 1

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Main article: Books (Thieves Guild)

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By Dettethor Pantenne

As a child, I was sickly and morose, a feeble stripling confined to a bed. The greater world came to me primarily through the windows of my room, high in the relative safety of my family's expansive manor. The vivid flashes of light and color that entered my room via its large windows served only to heighten the anxiety and fear of the outside world I had carefully cultivated in my bed rest. With the physical world become a place of feat and tension for my weakened frame, I retreated into the solace of the written word, and plumbed the deep mysteries of Nirn.

While I lived many lives, and learned many things in this way, one particular legend, that of Red Eagle, the king of the Reachmen, lodged itself most firmly in my mind. Though I was the scion of a family of proud Bretons, I contrived a connection between myself and the King of the Reach, Faolan. With this lie embedded in my heart, I turned my studies to the dark arts, wishing to find a way to fulfill Red Eagle's oath, and return him to life. He would, by my machinations, rule The Reach, his flaming sword in one hand, and I at the other, his trusted and beloved vizier.

As I grew, my maladies passed, leaving me weak, but not longer bed-ridden, and the largesse of my family afforded me the ability to discreetly expand my research. My peculiar eccentricities were accepted due to my rank, and the near complete isolation of my youth.

Inevitably, my studies led me to the Daedra. Late at night, in the darkness, deep within my family's manor, I would conduct ancient rituals in unfamiliar tongues, raising the foul demons and trapping them, plying them with questions. Often they would ignore my entreaties, promising me great power or wealth if only I would release them from their magical bonds. Through weak of flesh, my mind was stalwart, I resisted their honeyed words, and eventually they would accept that the only path to freedom lay in acquiescence.

Again and again, this story played out, and in fits and starts I collected the information I desires, but it was never enough. Slowly, their poisoned promises bore fruit, and I convinced myself that perhaps I could outsmart these Oblivion-cursed souls. It was my own hubris that led me to believe I could accept their gifts and yet control the terms.

How naive I was then, and how haunted I am by the truths I know now. The fear of the outside world returned tenfold, I have again taken solace in the solitude of my ancestral manse. Though I search feverishly for an escape, I know in my heart that none will rear its head. There is a darkness that lives in the roots of Nirn, and once envisaged, it can never be escaped.

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